Atlas Copco: A World of Innovation
Atlas Copco: A World of Innovation
CAMPAIGN: Sustainable Innovation at Atlas Copco
Innovation is key for Atlas Copco. How do you secure an innovative culture?
An innovative culture requires some key ingredients. First of all, every innovation should have a purpose – it should bring on a new, better solution. Our employees can better create this by moving around in the organization. Our internal job market plays a key role, making it easy for people to take on new challenges. Diversity is also crucial. Mixing people with different nationalities, gender, age, experience and education promotes a creative environment. Another key ingredient is giving people the tools to learn new things, speeding up their time to competence. We strongly believe there is always a better way. Last but not least, we live close to our customers and listen very carefully to their challenges and needs.
What type of innovations can we expect from Atlas Copco in the coming years?
There can be innovation in lots of areas – obviously in products, but also in service, processes, logistics, the supply chain and customer relations. The digital world is changing rapidly. Capabilities are improving dramatically, and the cost of new materials is becoming more attractive, which is creating new opportunities. Heat to power is one area where we definitely will see new applications. It is consistent with the global drive toward energy efficiency, and we will absolutely play a key role.
Is Atlas Copco ambitious enough in its product development when it comes to energy efficiency?
Well, there is always a better way. We have achieved a great deal in this area, launching many products that are top-notch in their energy efficiency. Our competence in
this area is second to none. But of course we are pushing on. We are constantly scanning the technology market to see what is out there and to make sure we do everything we can to provide the best solutions.
The Paris agreement in 2015 to reduce emissions should be good for us and is consistent with our business idea. For example, our very successful variable speed compressors consume down to half the energy required by traditional compressors. The more units we install, the better for the environment.
What is Atlas Copco doing to ensure it is in the forefront of the digital transformation?
It is key we have the competence to understand the potential of digitization. Adapting to new ways of working is a day-to-day challenge, so we need to be ready for change. The easier we make the implementation of the transformation, the faster it will be accepted. We will see many business processes changing in the years to come.
Looking at the service business, what are the challenges and opportunities?
The service business must keep growing. We still do not service all our equipment that we have sold and installed. The biggest challenge is to convince the owner. We need to show that we can create much more value for him or her if we do the work. Innovation is important also for service. For example, our SMARTLINK data monitoring system lets us see exactly when a compressor needs service. This gives customers peace of mind and is a win-win for us and them. The installation will always run at 100% efficiency if maintained the right way.
In 2015 Atlas Copco presented focused priorities for sustainable profitable growth – innovation, business ethics, safety and health, resource efficiency and competent teams. You already had five strategic pillars. What role do the priorities play?
The priorities are a complement to our strategic pillars and will ensure that we stay competitive, innovative and ethically sound long into the future. To create profitable growth one year may be easy. But to do this year after year you need a rock-solid organization that always looks after the customer and believes we can always do better.